To Protect Migrants From Police, a Dutch Church Service Never Ends

merlin_147840027_567768d8-55e0-409b-8ebb-2e5c3e3a2752-jumboSource: The New York Times

THE HAGUE — Jessa van der Vaart and Rosaliene Israel, two Dutch pastors, usually get to church by cycling through the streets of Amsterdam to a Protestant parish in the city center. But last Wednesday night, they packed their robes into the trunk of a car and drove down the highway to The Hague for what was the equivalent of a priestly shift change.

They would take over at 8 p.m. from a local minister at the modest Bethel Church. Then, at 11 p.m., they would be replaced by a group from the city of Voorburg, who were scheduled to pull an all-nighter, singing hymns and preaching until daylight, when another cleric would arrive to take the baton.

The two pastors from Amsterdam were running slightly late. “Well,” said Ms. van der Vaart, as Ms. Israel started the engine. “They’ll have to keep going till we get there.”

For the marathon church service, which started more than six weeks ago, and hasn’t stopped since, can never take a break.

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